The expanding market has been pegged to lead growth in the global international schools market for the next few years. For the 2013-2014 academic year, ISC Research figures show there are 6,717 international schools teaching almost 3.4 million students aged between 3 and 18 years old around the world.
Currently chinese students aren’t allowed to attend one of the 355 foreign-owned international schools that cater to some 200,000 expatriate students annually. But, Chinese-owned schools are beginning to expand to offer international curriculum for local students.
“This looks likely to be the future for many Chinese children”
“Some of these schools will be bilingual, others will teach totally in English, some will be part Chinese curriculum and part international, others will follow an international curriculum (such as the International Baccalaureate) completely,” said Nicholas Brummitt, Chairman of ISC Research in a statement.
“These Chinese international schools will be aiming to meet the huge demand for an English language education from the burgeoning Chinese middle class who want to see their children receive the best possible education in order to gain access to the top universities worldwide.
“This looks likely to be the future for many Chinese children,” he added.
For added credibility, many schools are establishing partnerships with foreign educational institutions as well. “The vast majority of the teaching staff will be fully qualified, skilled, expatriate English-speaking teachers,” said Brummitt.
The first Sino-foreign high school will open its doors in Shanghai in the fall of 2014 as part of the municipal government’s efforts to build the city as an international education exchange centre. Shanghai Qibao High School and US-based Dwight School will establish the Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School set to accept 100 student initially.
In addition to the 220 Sino-foreign cooperative education bodies and programmes already established. It plans to establish a two more Sino-foreign cooperative high schools in the city over the next five years.
“These Chinese international schools will be aiming to meet the huge demand for an English language education from the burgeoning Chinese middle class”
“These programs will improve our students’ understanding of the world and increase their ability in international exchange,” Yang Weiren, an official of the international exchange and cooperation department of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission told China Daily.
The international school market has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, with global fee revenue estimated at £20.8 billion and expected to rise. On top of China’s expanding opportunities, ISC also looks for Malaysia’s international school market to swell along side the continued boom in the Middle East.
“In Abu Dhabi and Dubai demand continues to exceed supply and Saudi Arabia is anticipated to see extensive growth this year,” it said in a statement.